This week, on Heroes …
RECAP DETAILS AHEAD (don’t read if you haven’t watched it yet) …
Something strange happened on this latest episode of Heroes: It didn’t suck! As expected, the return of Bryan Fuller as writer made all the difference in the world this week. Although it may also have had something to do with the absence of two of the more aimless characters — Sylar and Claire. And while I’m sure they’ll be back next week, it was nice to see some of the more likeable characters get their time to shine in the sun.
Providing comic relief this week were Hiro and Ando with their “Two Supermen and a Baby” routine, which, I have to say, was actually pretty funny. The ongoing joke of Hiro and Ando not noticing Matt Parkman on the television over and over again was right up there with Hiro believing that Baby Matt was Big Matt shrunken to baby size. Fuller doesn’t overplay the humor, however, and also uses the setup as opportunity for Hiro to finally tell Ando about the fact that he was there when his mother died. As for Baby Matt, it turns out he has a power. “He’s Toddler Touch and Go … he touches and makes things go … like a Baby Genesis Device.” (That’s one of two Star Trek references, for those who are counting.)
When Matt’s ex-wife returns home, the boys learn that Baby Matt’s powers first manifested during the most recent eclipse, but they don’t have much time to talk about it before the Government Goons come calling. Things look bleak until Baby Matt uses his power to jump-start Hiro’s time freezing power. Unfortunately for Hiro, this is the only power he gets back, and so instead of teleporting them to safety, he’s forced to load Ando into a wheelbarrow, strap Baby Matt to his chest, and walk them both to a bus station 12 miles away. Armed with the limited return of Hiro’s abilities, their plan is to keep looking for Big Matt.
Meanwhile, Rebel disrupts things at Building 26 long enough for Tracy to escape, who in turn helps Matt and Mohinder and an unconscious Daphne also escape before going her own separate way. Following Rebel’s trail of bread crumbs, Tracy makes her way to a locker at the train station, where she finally meets Rebel himself … who she is surprised turns out to be Micah. This throws a wrench into the deal she made with HRG — to lead him to Rebel in exchange for her freedom — and in a final act of nobility, she sacrifices herself to buy Micah time to escape, freezing not only the goons but herself. While Tracy’s frozen, the Hunter takes her out with one bullet, shattering her … but we’re left to wonder if she’s truly dead when we see her frozen face wink.
As for Matt and Mohinder, after they escape, they bee-line immediately for a hospital to get Daphne the medical attention she needs, with the help of some telepathic persuasion. The doctors are able to patch her up, and once she feels better, Daphne decides that it’s best if she and Matt part ways. She zips off to Paris, but Matt follows her there, and in a surprising turn, reveals to her that he can fly. He flies her around the Eiffel Tower, and just as things couldn’t get more romantic, tells Matt that he can let her go. This is confusing for both us and Matt at first, until Daphne reveals that she’s aware she’s still in the hospital, dying, and that this is all just Matt in her head, trying to give her a storybook ending.
I have to say, it’s one of the few “didn’t see that coming” moments this series has offered in the past couple of seasons, and it made for a very touching moment when — after Matt flies her to the moon — Daphne finally and truly dies, in a dark hospital room, with Matt kneeling next to her, holding her hand.
And then there’s Mama Petrelli, who has cashed in all of her political chips at this point, and is now being hunted the same as the others. Thanks to her ability to see the future while catnapping, she’s able to evade being captured, borrows some money from a friend, then evades capture again when Peter shows up at the last second to fly her away. When last we see them, they’re looking out at New York City from the head of the Statue of Liberty.
All in all, I thought this was a strong episode, and it has me hopeful for the rest of the season. I wasn’t happy to see Pushing Daisies get cancelled, but its loss was clearly Heroes‘ gain. And hey, we even got a cameo from Daisies alum Swoosie Kurtz! I expect a well-placed pie joke any episode now.